Nina Kraviz is without doubt something of a divisive force amongst the techno intelligentsia. In a world dominated by 30-something middle aged men, the young, and undeniably aesthetic DJ from Siberia might appear out of place: no stranger to publicity, she made waves in 2013 bathing on camera whilst talking about life as a DJ on the road.
Yet beneath the media image, lies a DJ with an admirable sense of rhythm and mood that shines through the most recent mix in the DJ-Kicks mix series. Kraviz’s mixing style is certainly unusual, weaving tracks on top of an anchor. This creates a wonderfully coherent, and almost trippy sound, as the anchor comes in and out of focus – the blending of Exos’ ‘Nuclear Red Guard’, or her ‘Prozimokampleme’ near the middle are masterful examples of mixing at its finest. The blending of the atmospheric Parsec and the vocal sample create a wonderfully smooth and smokey move into the final stages of the mix.
Yet despite this, there is still a sense of something missing. For one thing, Kraviz has used this mix as a showcase of her new label, which put out its first release last year. This is not unusual, yet it does make for a few slightly slower patches, which require more patient listening. Yet surely this is the point: mix CDs are not supposed to be examples of a set played in a club. As something to listen to with headphones in private, this mix serves as a genuinely interesting example of the craft, from a DJ who deserves serious attention, and not just for her cheekbones.